So, you’ve given it great thought. You’re ready, but, not 100% sure. Becoming a 1st time homeowner, for many, will be a life changing event. With so many factors to consider, it’s hard to know where to start. Concerns like financing, location and your personal budget should all be at the top of your list. However, there is a part of the process that can be informative as well as a little fun – – model home viewing.
If you’re taking steps toward home ownership, you should know that there are tons of options out there for you. While model homes are usually for those considering a property that has been newly constructed (typically in a subdivision or similar community), viewing these sample houses can serve as a kind of exercise for 1st time buyers. Touring these homes can help with the following queries:
- Can I live in a home with a little less character, but, more amenities?
- How much customization can I afford?
- How far from the city do I want to live?
- Should I buy a home built on spec?
- What are HOA fees?
- How much house do I need for my lifestyle?
- Will my neighbors be too close?
- What type of homes fit my personal tastes?
- What will my commute to work be like?
These are just a few questions you may already be asking yourself. Touring a model home may help you early on because you can bounce these questions off of an agent or the builder’s representative for more clarity.
Get Familiar with your Local Builders
In an area like Charleston, rapid growth has provided us with an abundance of housing choices, seemingly on every corner. Wherever you are, take time while driving to and from work or when running errands and be sure to keep a look out for newly erected communities. Builders often place large, attractive signs or flags just outside of a community’s entrances. Make a note of the name of the builders for future reference. Once you’ve gathered several names or so, do some homework. Research the builders whose work has garnered a lot of praised from recent home buyers. Word of mouth is a good way to gauge how well the builders work with others. Starting your journey here also helps you pinpoint what you find aesthetically pleasing. Though that may sound a bit superficial, it isn’t. No one wants to live in a home that looks as if it were made for someone else. So, take this time to hone in on what it is that you prefer.
Once you’ve narrowed your list of communities down to a few, consider enlisting the services of a good real estate agent. This is very important because agents can be a tremendous help with details like coordinating tours of properties you are curious about. Unlike the sales rep that works for the builders, your agent works for you. They’ll have your needs in mind during your search. Consulting the pros first is a decision you won’t regret.
For those who aren’t necessarily looking to buy a home at this very minute, but, are interested in learning what’s out there, you can ditch the agent all together and “window shop” on your own. This is something we here at Pink Verbena do to learn more about construction, trends in home decor and home design.
Always ask, “Is this extra?”
Model homes are beautiful! Features like granite counter tops, fine wood flooring, lighting, high-end appliances can come at a price. The model home is staged in such away to that allows you to fall in love with the home. Make sure you ask the sales rep what features are standard and which ones are upgrades. Paying close attention to how much your dream home actually costs is very important. When presented to you in black and white on paper, you’ll quickly determine what you can afford. Don’t let financial limitations discourage you, though. Perhaps that shiny new home is just outside your reach, but there’s something out there for everyone. Maybe you just have to dream a tiny bit smaller – – at least for now.
Take Your Time – There’s No Need to Rush
We can’t say it enough! Buying a home is a big deal! The objective of this post is to encourage you to spend as much time as you need evaluating your options and familiarizing yourself with the home purchasing process. So, be a flirt! See one property, then another, and another! You don’t necessarily have to commit to one home during the earlier stages. Learn what you want, what you can afford and determine if it fits you or your family’s needs. Take a closer look at the questions in bold above. If there is a question on that list that you’ve asked yourself prior to reading this piece, go back and give it some reflection. Now is the perfect time to learn as much about the process as you can.
If you have any tips or advice for 1st time home buyers, please leave them in the comment section below.